CNN's Don Lemon surprised Chris Cuomo when he made excuses for the harassment that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) faced when he was dining with his wife at the hands of left-wing protesters Tuesday.
"Sometimes the only agency you have is... to get in someone's face."
Lemon debated the issue with Cuomo on his CNN show Wednesday, saying that as a person of color and a sexual abuse survivor, he could understand why harassing a Republican was the only way to voice his opinion.
"It's a tough one Chris," Lemon said, "because one, it's survivors right, of sexual abuse. I'm one."
"As a person of color I know that especially during the Civil Rights movement and now sometimes the only agency you have is to protest and to get in someone's face," he explained.
"You don't have any power when it comes to government and in society," Lemon continued. "I don't like it but it is one reason I'm not a public official, that I'm not running for office. In a way I think it goes with the territory. I don't like that they were blocking his wife, but that's what he signed up for, and as a strict constitutionalist, which Ted Cruz is, he knows that it's protected under the First Amendment."
"That’s what he signed up for"
"Again, I don't like it, I wouldn't want it to happen to me, I don't like that it happened to his wife, but that's what he signed up for, that's part of the deal," Lemon concluded.
"I don't know that that's what he signed up for," Cuomo disagreed slightly, "but that may be what the price is of being in public service, that there's a different standard for him."
"Well, semantics, we're saying the same thing," said Lemon.
"But I'm saying, no, I hear you, but I don't think it's purely semantical," Cuomo replied, "I think that this is wrong, do they have the right to do it? A hundred percent."
Lemon said that Cruz should expect harassment from constituents because he espouses policies that are "detrimental" to the people. He also compared the episode to what happened during the State of the Union speech with former President Barack Obama when a Republican congressman interrupted and yelled "you lie!"
Here's the video of Lemon excusing left-wing harassment: